The aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN-65) began inactivation at Norfolk, Virginia, on 1 December 2012. She had served in the Fleet for 51 years.That same day, Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus announced that the planned carrier CVN-80 would be named Enterprise . His widely acclaimed statement followed his assigning several ship names that have evoked negative and passionate responses from active and retired naval personnel, historians and Navy buffs, and even members of Congress. 1
The name Enterprise has been carried by American warships since 1775, when a British supply sloop was captured at St. Johns, Quebec (Canada), by Colonel Benedict Arnold, renamed Enterprise , and armed for use on Lake Champlain. That ship was followed by a schooner purchased by the Continental Congress in 1776; a schooner built in Baltimore in 1799; a schooner built in New York in 1831; a bark-rigged, screw sloop-of-war completed in 1877 at Kittery, Maine; a motorboat that served in the 2nd Naval District during World War I; and the aircraft carrier Enterprise (CV-6), built at Newport News, Virginia, and commissioned in 1938.